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Impending war with Syria and turning towards the Fall

At this time of year when the light is already waning, I am feeling acutely the stress we are all under. The summer feels over, kids are heading back to school and the leaves are already looking spent and brown. I usually look forward to Fall, especially here in New England where the colors are bright and the air clear and crisp. Maybe it’s the increasing drum beats for war in Syria that have me in a dark mood. As I write this, we have not yet bombed Syria, but US warships are already in the area.

It all feels so familiar. I am hearing the same rhetoric that got us into the senseless war in Iraq. If chemical weapons are being used then yes, something has to be done to protect the Syrian people. But the American taxpayer shouldn’t be forced to bear the cost of yet another war where only bomb makers like Raytheon and military suppliers like Halliburton come out the winners.

The UN was created to deal with international crises like Syria. Other nations have armies and weapons. Let them provide humanitarian aid to the Syrian people for a change. We just can’t afford it any more.

There are roads in Texas and elsewhere that are no longer being paved because of lack of funds (the roads have been ruined by big oil company trucks but we can’t tax THEM to
recoup the cost, can we?). Head start is being cut back, meaning that poor households will struggle to find child care while both mothers and fathers have to work. Schools are eliminating teachers due to cut backs in funding. Even as public schools are defunded by the sequestration nightmare, libraries are closing nationwide which will only lead to a further dumbing down of the American populace. Meanwhile, right wing ideologues like Rand Paul are advocating for food stamp cuts (never mind that paying people wages so low that they can’t afford food amounts to slavery). And the US is still the only developed nation that won’t guarantee health care to its citizens.

I managed to snatch a few days off from work this year, to go on a working vacation where I spoke and taught at a conference. The US is the only developed country that doesn’t guarantee time off for workers which is leading to a lowering of our life expectancy, as are gun violence, an unhealthy food supply and a continuing lack of health care for millions.

Despite the gloom I continue to act where I can, to make positive changes in the world. I recently joined the “All things Local Co-op” in Amherst, MA, which will provide cheaper, local foods and crafts made in our area. Local stores such as this one will benefit farmers, help provide fresher food and less wear and tear on roads, and boost the regional
economy.

On the international front I recently wrote to English Heritage to halt their proposed display of bones in the new Stonehenge visitor center. You can see my reasons in the letter below. Respectful treatment of human remains needs to become the new norm for museums, archeologists and historians worldwide;

“King Arthur” who is fighting to make sure the bones of the dead found at Stonehenge will not be put on display in the Visitor Center (plastic replicas should suffice) wrote;

“NEW CAMPAIGN FOR THE STONEHENGE ‘GUARDIANS’
Raising awareness. We can not all be present on the Stonehenge Picket supporting King Arthurs Campaign to return the Guardians to what should have been their final resting place or showing our displeasure at English Heritage’s plans to put ‘our’ ancient ancestors on display in their new visitors centre; But we can support his call. E mail
loraine.knowles@english-heritage.org.uk and don’t forget to copy in Chief.Executive@english-heritage.org.uk. Show the strength and depth of feeling World wide for this cause. Do it Now; and keep doing it until you get a reply. Let them know how you feel and keep letting them know. Share this Message as widely and as often as possible.”

My letter to English Heritage;

Dear English Heritage:
I am a Druid Priestess and I have done ceremonies inside of Stonehenge four times now (always with prior permission after purchasing tickets, before it opened or after it closed to the public). As an American I view Stonehenge as one of the most important Pagan Temples in the world. It is an ancient graveyard and also a calendar site and one of the most important World Heritage sites left to us from the ancestors.

Archaeologists in the US have learned to consult with Native American tribes to respectfully repatriate and rebury human remains;

“The Office of the State Archaeologist Burial Protection Program is legally responsible for investigating, preserving and reinterring ancient human remains. Since Iowa’s burial protection law passed in 1976, the program has handled over 2,000 projects in 98 of Iowa’s 99 counties. Removal and reburial of the human remains found at the Palace site is taking place in consultation with descendant American Indian peoples and members of the Office of the State Archaeologist Indian Advisory Council, and in accordance with state and federal laws.” Happily the bones of the ancestors are being treated with respect.

This needs to become the new norm for civilized treatment of ancestral bones. Plastic replicas should suffice for your Visitor’s Center. Small fragments of bone could be taken for safe keeping and future scientific analysis but the bodies of the dead should be re-interred as soon as possible. The site should be recognized for what it really is – the resting place of honored dead.

To ensure decorum please consign a nearby field for festivals and gatherings, and make sure that Stonehenge itself is treated as a Stone Age Cathedral. Drunken parties should not be allowed on the site.

with respect;
Ellen Evert Hopman

A terse response from English Heritage;

Dear Ms Hopman
Contact Number: 507296018

Thank you for contacting our Stonehenge office. Your email has been received and acknowledged. We are very grateful for you taking the time to pass on your comments.

Please feel free to contact us on customers@english-heritage.org.uk or 0870 333 1181 if there is anything else that we can do for you.
Yours sincerely

Charlotte Frank
Customer Services

Its not all doom and gloom. For example, the EPA has finally recognized that
nicotine based pesticides are killing bees.

There is some good news on the archeology front; A project for honoring ancestral remains in the Americas.

And some very welcome personal news; I am thrilled to announce that my new herbal blog went live on August 26, 2013, on the Sagewoman website.

On the home front – Vermont Yankee, an ageing nuclear reactor with many accidents and design flaws is finally scheduled to close. Locals have fought long and hard for this. If VT now focuses on wind, solar, bio mass (think of all that cow poop!) and conservation, i.e. not fracking, this will be a real victory.

I think I will go take a walk in the woods now to de-stress and hopefully see a moose!

Below you will find this Moonth’s book news, upcoming classes and appearances, and the usual recap of the months archeology, nature and religion happenings. Please enjoy.

BOOK NEWS

  • I have a few articles in the new issue of The Witches Almanac, on scarecrows, fishing magic and boats
  • A nice review of Priestess of the Forest – A Druid Journey
    This narrative is a beautiful glance back at pagan culture, Druidic practices and rituals, and daily Celtic life. It makes one yearn for the connection with the earth that we, in our modern day and age, seem to have lost. It reads easily and weaves Druidic teachings with a touching love story. If you are intrigued by ancient Celtic culture or posses a desire to learn about Druidic customs, pick up this book. It also includes a glossary of Celtic/Druidic terms and suggested sources for further study.***Buy it from this site and get a signed copy with a personal note!***
  • I am thrilled to pieces that Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore was picked up by Gaelsong! I love all their Celtic stuff.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND APPEARANCES

  • Relearn the wisdom of our great grandmothers who made simple, inexpensive, and effective remedies from the foods and spices already on the kitchen shelf.
    The Secret Medicines of Your Kitchen
    A workshop on how to make home remedies from the foods and spices already in your kitchen.
    The Magic School
    Sunday September 15 at 3 PM – 5:30 PM.
    461 South Street, Marlborough, MA 01752
    If you can’t come why not read the book!
  • WESTERN MA PAGAN PRIDE DAY
    September 28, Florence, Massachusetts
    Florence Community Center – all day
    A slide show and lecture on the Medicinal Plants of New England
  • CHANGING TIMES CHANGING WORLDS
    Nov 8-9, Crown Plaza Cromwell (near Hartford, CT)
    “Changing Times-Changing Worlds is a metaphysical conference for New England. People from all sorts of perspectives: scientific and magickal, spiritual, practical and curious get together to share their knowledge and skills so that we can build on each others work, and further the acceptance that humans interact with energy as well as matter”.
    I will be speaking on communicating with trees.
  • HERBAL HEALING CLASS
    A six month intensive with Ellen Evert Hopman M.Ed.
    Registered Herbalist, American Herbalists Guild
    Author of: “The Secret Medicines of Your Kitchen“,
    Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore“, “A Druid’s Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year”, “A Druid’s Herbal – Of Sacred Tree Medicine” and other books and DVDs
    October 19, 2013 – April, 2014
    Two Saturdays a month, 1-5 PM near Amherst, MA
    COST: $1,000.00 (includes a $100.00 non-refundable Xeroxing fee)
    A six month intensive. Covers Western herbal Materia Medica, formula making, case taking, Chinese Five Element Theory, Homeopathic First Aid, Flower Essence Counseling, plant identification, ethno botany, and hands on herbal techniques such as poultices, tinctures, salves etc. An herb walk outdoors, slide shows of plants and hands on preparations are included. Over 400 pages of handouts are included with the course. A certificate of completion is offered at the end.
    MA NURSES CAN GET CEUS BY TAKING THIS COURSE

Meanwhile, here is a gathering of the past Moonth’s  news of note;

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

ANTHROPOLOGY NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

SCIENCE NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

NATURE NEWS

HERB NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

POLITICS/ETHICS

FOLKLORE

 

NEWS YOU CAN USE

 

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